How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

Mission Possible: How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

The 2020 Presidential Election: Bloomberg My Choice at this Juncture

Former Ohio governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate John Kasich and Starbuck’s billionaire CEO, Howard Shultz, both have indicated they are “seriously considering” a possible third-party presidential challenge. The $64,000 question is whether a third-party ticket could do more than just act as spoiler for one of the other two parties.

Most political experts agree that it would be extremely difficult for a third-party candidate to get the traction needed to win the presidency. In recent history, third-party candidates have rarely garnered more than 10 percent of the popular vote. Not since 1968, when George Wallace ran as a pro-segregationist independent, has a third-party candidate received a single vote in the Electoral College.

In 2016, the combined vote totals for the Libertarian, Green Party and Independent Party candidates was less than 6 percent. The most successful recent third-party candidate was Texas billionaire Ross Perot, who spent more than $60 million of his own money in 1992, and earned 18.9 percent of the popular vote. Many experts feel that his candidacy probably cost President George H. W. Bush a second term in the White House and gave us the Clinton presidency.

John Kasich has emerged as vocal critic of President Trump and a strong advocate of bipartisanship. He has begun visiting key battleground states and has raised nearly $900,000 to support his political aspirations (chump change when it comes to running for the presidency as a third-party candidate). Kasich has been stressing that he is a moderate or traditional conservative candidate – the new face of compassionate conservatism in America.

A quick review of Kasich’s record as governor of Ohio reveals that he did not govern like a moderate Republican. Over and over again he restricted access to abortion (de-funded Planned Parenthood), pushed through a bill that severely limited the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions, championed charters schools and supported fracking. This is clearly not the record of a centrist who would appeal to people in the middle of the partisan spectrum.

Howard Schutz’s third-party run makes even less sense to me. If Donald Trump and Jon Corzine have taught us anything, it is that business leaders lacking political experience should not run for positions in which they will be asked to manage the government. These jobs require political skills, something folks who never had political experience know nothing about. If Starbucks was hiring a new CEO and someone devoid of business experience applied, would they even be considered?

If there was going to be a legitimate third-party challenge to President Trump it would have had to come from former NYC billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg, who has studied the possibility and concluded “that there is no way an independent can win … [and] that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the president.”

Unfortunately, Bloomberg will have a hard time emerging as a winner in a crowded Democratic presidential primary field based on his record as NYC Mayor where he clashed repeatedly with progressives over issues like stop-and-frisk, legalization of marijuana and with the teachers union on charter schools.

Over the next few months, Mike Bloomberg will be accessing whether a pro-business fiscal conservative socially responsible centrist candidate (who is a free-trader, pro-choice, pro-environment, pro-gay rights, pro-gun control, anti-smoking and anti-soft drinks) will resonate with Democrats at a time when the party seems to lurching to the far left. I hope he decides to enter the fray. At this juncture, Bloomberg would be my choice.

In a speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention Bloomberg gave us some insight in how he would separate his business experience from that of President Trumps: “Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders, and contractors who feel cheated and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us… I understand the appeal of a businessman president. But Trump’s business plan is a disaster in the making.” More recently Bloomberg has said “To Donald the art of the deal is simply cheating people and not caring how badly they get hurt, and now he’s doing it to the American people.”

If Mike Bloomberg were to emerge as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 2020, voters would have a clear choice between a competent ethical philanthropic billionaire with many years of proven governmental experience and who cares about our nation and incompetent nefarious narcissistic billionaire who only cares only about himself and has done more in four years to destroy democratic norms than any President in our nation’s history. I have no doubt that Michael Bloomberg can stand toe to toe to with Donald Trump and defeat him.